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Penn State Football’s Top Remaining 2019 Targets

The early signing period is only a few days away, and James Franklin and his coaching staff will put the finishing touches on another strong recruiting class.

The current class is ranked No. 12 in the nation and No. 3 in the Big Ten, but it’s actually a top 10 program in terms of average rating per player, per 247 Sports. If Franklin and his staff are able to close on the right guys, Penn State could sneak into the final top 10 overall for the second consecutive year. 

That said, here are Penn State’s top remaining targets:

Noah Cain, running back

Penn State joined the party for the four-star IMG Academy running back last offseason following the hiring of Jajuan Seider. Despite his southern ties, Cain has been trending towards Penn State in recent days, and many now expect him to end up in Happy Valley.

Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee are among the other schools in contention for his services next year. He’ll announce his college destination at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday — his decision will be broadcast on ESPN.

Jared Harrison-Hunte, defensive tackle

Penn State has been involved with Harrison-Hunte for a while, and the Nittany Lions have long been considered the favorite. The three-star defensive tackle has picked up offers from Michigan and Alabama in recent weeks, which may lead him to wait until February to sign.

Whether or not he signs next week, Penn State is considered a strong favorite here.

Jakai Moore, offensive tackle

Moore is the Nittany Lions’ primary offensive line target left in this recruiting cycle, and his decision will boil down to South Carolina and Penn State with an announcement coming Monday.

The four-star prospect officially visited during the weekend of December 7, but South Carolina is trending as the pick for Moore. He could become the fourth member of Penn State’s 2019 class from Virginia.

D’Von Ellies, defensive tackle

Ellies played alongside current Nittany Lion PJ Mustipher in high school. The four-star lineman is also considering USC, Michigan, and Ohio State, but he’s considered a Penn State lean for now. He’s expected to announce his college decision at the Polynesian Bowl on January 19, but he could sign during the early period and keep things quiet.

Smith Vilbert, defensive end

Vilbert is another late riser, and he’s become a priority target for the Nittany Lions in recent weeks. Although he planned to sign late, James Franklin and co. have been pushing to secure his signature sooner rather than later. The three-star prospect is also considering Oregon and Florida.

Cornelius Johnson, wide receiver

Johnson is James Franklin’s main wide receiver target left, and his recruitment appears to be a two-horse race between Penn State and Michigan. The four-star wideout will make a trip to Ann Arbor before announcing his college choice Wednesday evening at his high school. 

Zach Harrison, defensive end

Many believe Penn State is running third behind Michigan and Ohio State for the five-star defensive end from Columbus, OH, but he might also still be considering all three schools. After using his official visit during last year’s Blue-White weekend, Harrison returned to Penn State for this year’s White Out game. Penn State’s coaching staff has visited him numerous times. Although one of Michigan or Ohio State seems the most likely destination for the No. 3 overall player in the country, Penn State remains firmly in the picture.

Penn State has a few more targets in sight like running back Mark Anthony-Richards and offensive tackles Dawand Jones and Ohio State commit Doug Nester, but those players aren’t expected to sign until February.

If you haven’t already, it’s that time of year to get your James Franklin tweet notifications on. It’s “#WeAre… Better” season, baby!

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About the Author

Brian Bachman

Brian Bachman is a freshman in the school of communications and a contributor at Onward State. He is from northern Virginia but fell in love with Penn State a few years ago and knew after his first visit he wanted to come here. If you are a fan of the SUPER BOWL 52 CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (!!!) or sports in general, follow him on twitter @brianbachman_. Email is [email protected]

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